Being a journalist or writer can seem like a dream career path: contemplating new ideas while looking out the window or even scribbling notes in a tattered notepad.
However appealing that may seem, there are some aspects of the career that go unseen to many newcomers, and there are also many important things you need to know when trying to gain valuable experience in the writing field while balancing academics at the same time.
Whether you want to write for a magazine, become an author, create heartfelt poetry, or anything in between while also being in high school or college, don’t continue on until you’ve read these major truths about being a writer while also trying to earn that diploma!
1. It can be stressful.
This may seem like an obvious point, but it actually comes on as more of a surprise than it seems. The most shocking thing to student writers is how quickly the workload can change!
For example, one day you could be on top of all of your work, but the next you could be swamped in homework assignments and article duties/story chapters to complete.
“Writing is as stressful as math. At first, it’s easy as 1+2, but afterwards, it could be as complex as x + y,” says high school student writer Bernadette Banan.
Writing while in school is sometimes never consistent! Also, depending on how much writing you do outside of school, it is safe to say that juggling both academics and responsibilities as a writer can easily become stressful.
2. You learn to stay on top of deadlines.
Student writers have an early advantage — learning to stay on top of deadlines!
Being an active writer while in school teaches you not only the importance and the consequences of deadlines, but also how to stay on top of them early on in your career.
“Writing on a deadline is very important for being a journalist; in fact, it’s key,” says Hannah Reddington, a student journalist at Bowling Green State University. “If you work efficiently and turn in your work in high school or college, it will make it a lot easier at a station or newspaper.”
So, being an active writer while in school will definitely help you understand the whole process of turning in articles in a timely manner, and you learn to balance your time efficiently with other assignments.
3. Organization helps more than you know.
Whether it means putting important documents into labeled folders or having a planner to complete certain assignments each day, writing while in school is a job that will help you realize the perks of organization.
“Categorizing and writing your thoughts teaches you to stay organized in journalism. Also, keeping track of interviews and staying on a deadline forces you to be organized,” says Hannah.
Not only will organization help you later in your writing career, it is a trait that student writers tend to learn early on, especially with such busy schedules!
4. Although it can be hard, it’s worth it.
Even if it may seem hard at times and you might feel like giving up, in the end, remember that writing is always worth it.
“Anything hard is worth doing,” says Hannah. “Challenging yourself and making a difference makes journalism and writing worth it.” Not only does writing help future authors and journalists to build a portfolio, but it also makes a difference.
“Writing could be really tiresome, but once you get ahold of the article, every sweat is worth it,” says Bernadette.
With school involved, writing anything can easily seem like too big of a task to accomplish; but, once you finish it, writing can easily become one of the most rewarding accomplishments in the world.
Now that we’ve broken down the four major truths about being an active writer while in school, you can now determine if writing is something you want to do while also juggling the pressures of academics. Whether it be realizing that writing is stressful, staying on top of deadlines, learning to be organized, or knowing the worth of writing, you can be sure that you are making the best decision when jumping into your writing career. So, pick that pen back up, put a smile on your face, and change the world — one word at a time.